National Herald case: Delhi HC terms applications of Sonia, Rahul Gandhi as 'infructuous'
New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Thursday termed as "infructuous" the applications moved by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and some other party leaders alleging a "different treatment" was meted out to a challenge filed by them in the National Herald case.
The Congress leaders in their application had opposed the transfer of the case from the court of Justice Sunil Gaur who had part-heard the matter for eight months to another court of Justice P S Teji. Justice Gaur on Thursday termed their "applications" as infructuous as the matter has been listed before him by the high court registry.
The judge also said that he had not recused from the matter and added that the petitions came back to him as it was part-heard by him. Even senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sonia Gandhi, agreed with the court that the applications had become infructuous and also added that they can be withdrawn. The court, thereafter, said it will hear arguments in the matter at 2.30 PM today.
The Gandhis in their application had said their petition challenging a trial court order in the case was transferred in violation of the procedures and practise being followed by the court. The application also said that their challenge petition ought to have been listed before the bench of Justice Gaur before whom the matter was pending for over eight months and was heard by him at length on several occasions.
"The matter being actually part heard ought to have been listed before the bench of Justice Sunil Gaur before whom the matter was pending for over eight months and was heard by him at length on several occasions.
"Even as per the established procedure and practise of this court, the registry ought to have placed this matter before the very same Judge where the matter was part heard especially when the same has been clarified and appended to the Roster Modification Notice itself," the application said.
The application had further said that "petitioner has no difficulty whatsoever in the matter being placed before any appropriate bench in accordance with law". The contention was made during hearing of a bunch of petitions, filed by Gandhis and five others, challenging the summons issued against them on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleging cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL), in which the accused party leaders are shareholders.
The trial court had on June 26 last year summoned Sonia, Rahul, Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda to appear before it on August 7, 2014 on the complaint by Swamy. The Congress leaders had, thereafter, on July 30, 2014 moved the high court which had stayed the summons on August 6 last year. On December 15, 2014, the court had stayed the summons till the final disposal of the petitions.